Sketchbook Skool!

Yes another klass is in session at Sketchbook Skool. This time it is Expressing.  Each workshop is six weeks long with a new instructor each week. The 4th week (next week!) is the week I am most excited about.  It will feature Felix Scheinberger, an illustrator, artist and the author of “Urban Watercolor Sketching”. This is the book I keep coming back to!

Week one featured typography and hand-lettered art  with Koosje Koene, co-founder of the Skool.  Week two with illustrator Jill Weber creating small handmade sketchbooks.  We are now in week three with Sabine Wisman, an author and illustrator from the Netherlands.  While all the sessions are good, week three has peaked my interest with creating an infographic as part of the session.

This Klass together with an ongoing watercolor class and various Craftsy workshops are keeping me focused and sane during a very wet Oregon winter.  However, I have maintained my daily drawing practice of drawing from life.


This is a section of a small accordion sketchbook from week two of Sketchbook Skool.


I know you have seen this girl before.  The coffee cup was fun to do. The book illustrates the people I find and sketch in coffee shops.  I could not get a good photograph of the whole book.


My Infographic from Week 3.  I have tried to answer “Why” I have each pen!  Not a lot of information on the pens just what influenced my decision to buy them. Only three of these pens are not in use. Most of the nibs are different ranging from EF, F, calligraphy or bent.  The inks are also different ranging from permanent black, gray turquoise to water-soluble black and brown.

I am afraid there is no homework from week one on typography. Not a lot of interest at the moment. I tend to draw with my pens and not write with them. I may come back to this later!

Sketchbook:  Stillman & Birn – Alpha
Accordion sketchbook – Stonehenge paper
Daniel Smith Paints
Platinum carbon pen EF nib
Lamy pen with calligraphy nib

Find out more information on Sketchbook Skool here

Felix Scheinberger’s  book “Urban Watercolor Sketching”.




Mixed Media!

Mixed media or mud media.  I had the urge to print with my homemade gelli plate during the week.  I wanted a supply of papers for collage in my sketchbooks.  There is a learning curve.  Like most ventures involving color you can get mud.  None the less I am happy with my stash of colored paper.  I even printed in my sketchbook!

The next time I went out sketching I had some interesting pages. I am not sure if the marks compliment the sketches or why I put an “i” on the end of the word “kiosk”!!

However different is good.!


Going Gray!

I have a number of Strathmore toned sketchbooks so I have decided to take one along with me when I go sketching.  So two sketchbooks!

Not sure how I want to work on the paper.  Lots to explore.  All I know is, it is great paper.  Strathmore makes spiral toned sketchbooks (the one I am using) along with hard and softcover bound in various sizes. The spiral is an inexpensive way to try this paper. It comes in gray or tan.

Off to the library early in the week. I do have a book on creative lettering.  A subject that does not interest me until I see my lettering!


Then to Costco!



White gouache was added on these two with a gray transparent watercolor wash.  Not sure it worked!


After Costco onto the Mall.  Brush pen and white gel pen.  This is the combination I like best.

Sketchbook:  Strathmore  5.5 x 8.5 spiral- gray toned
Pen: Carbon pen EF nib, carbon ink and Uniball white Gelly pen, Sharpie white waterbased marker (Library sketch)
Paints: Schmincke white gouache (pan) Daniel Smith transparent watercolors Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna (Costco sketches)

I am reading a book at the moment and one that I can highly recommend. It may inspire me to crack open that book on lettering!

“The War of Art” Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield.   He wrote another book “Get the Work Done”, similar and an overlap in some chapters.





A Visit to Safeway

Most Safeway supermarkets in the Pacific Northwest have a Starbucks. They usually have good seating with a view of the people ordering or waiting for their coffee.

Yes that man has no legs.  He moved away very quickly.  The background is with Faber Castell markers.



The last two are my favorites.  I am finally starting to slow down to include the surroundings so the viewer can see the people are waiting in line or ordering their coffee.

Sketchbook:  Stillman & Birn 8.5 x 5.5 Alpha
Daniel Smith Watercolors: Transparent Red Oxide, French Ultramarine (grey tones)
Pyrrol Crimson and Cobalt Turquoise
Pentel Brush Pen
Faber & Castell Markers:  Warm Gray, Light Flesh and Earth Green

It is winter!

We don’t get a lot of snow in Oregon but we sure do get the rain!  I want to sketch more than people so have decided to sketch from my car.  My first attempt did not go well.  While people can move very quickly when you are sketching them  I discovered they can also park their car in front of you!

I do have some sketches of people. The first spread with watercolor in the background.


The second spread with Faber Castell marker in the background.


While I have not been posting I have been busy sketching and have started an online watercolor course with Jane Blundell in Australia.  More about the course in coming posts.

Sketchbook:  Stillman & Birn – 5.5 x 9 (portrait) – Alpha
Marker: Faber & Castell – Warm Gray Big Brush
Pen: Carbon Pen with Carbon Ink.
Pigments: Daniel Smith -Quin. Gold, Indigo, Transparent Orange
M. Graham – Ultramarine Violet, Pale Green